Loyola University Chicago

Safety Net Coalition

St. Patrick's Day Weekend

St. Patrick's Day and the start of spring is typically a time of celebration and fun for LUC students. This St. Patrick's Day is still a cause for celebration, but we all need to be very cautious about how we celebrate and who we choose to celebrate with due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Also, if your celebration involves alcohol, there is an increased chance of accidents, legal issues, alcohol poisoning, and other negative consequences. In 2021, there is also an added risk of contracting COVID-19 in drinking situations, as alcohol use impairs judgment and interferes with social distancing. 

This St. Patrick's Day, public health officials in Chicago and Illinois are advising people to avoid large gatherings, practice COVID-19 safety behaviors, and consider small outdoor or virtual activities in place of indoor and in-person ones. As a Ramber, you are asked to follow university, local and state COVID safety guidelines, and you are encouraged to plan  safe ways to have fun. Loyola is also hosting some fun virtual and socially distanced events that can be found at St. Patrick's Day Event Schedule 2021.

Read the FAQs below for information on alcohol safety, ways to enjoy the holiday without alcohol, and information on COVID-19 safety and St. Patrick's Day. Don't be fooled this Halloween, make choices that keep you and your loved ones safe! Don't rely on luck this St. Patrick's Day! Plan ahead and celebrate responsibly.

 

Loyola is hosting a variety of fun virtual and socially distanced events this week. You can make your own tie dye on March 13th, make a delicious shamrock shake on the 14th, or attend a virtual cooking class on the 16th! 

Please check out the St. Patrick's Day Event Schedule 2021 for a list of events hosted by Student Activities and Greek Affairs and by Loyola's student organizations. We encourage you to sign up for an event or two to connect with other Ramblers and have fun! Check out the schedule for times and dates, you can sign up for all of these events on LUCommunity. 

Also, if you currently live in a Loyola residence hall, ask your RA for a list of virtual events happening in your hall! 

 

There are many ways to celebrate St. Patricks Day that do not involve alcohol. If you do choose to drink alcohol, please follow these important tips to minimize risk:

 

  • Eat food (with fat/protein) before and during the festivities
  • Alternate non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages
  • Avoid hard liquor and shots
  • Pace your drinking to 1 drink or less per hour
  • Keep track of your drink and what you are drinking; if a stranger hands you a drink, decline
  • If you don't know what is in a drink (like green punch), choose something else
  • Set a drink limit and stick to it
  • Designate a trusted friend to help you stick to your drink limit
  • Come up with a plan with friends on how to safely get to and from your event if you're leaving campus 
  • Remember Loyola’s Good Samaritan policy and seek help for your friends and yourself. (3 steps: Get help, stay with your friend, and follow up)

 

Loyola students are expected to follow university, local, and state safety guidelines around COVID-19 prevention. For more information on Loyola's COVID-19 guidelines and resources, visit luc.edu/coronavirus. Here are some tips for how to celebrate more safely this St. Patrick's Day during the pandemic: 

  • Avoid parties or any large gatherings this St. Patrick's Day, as they can greatly increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission. 
  • If you are feeling sick, especially with respiratory symptoms, please stay home this St. Patrick's Day. See HERE for a list of COVID-19 symptoms. 
  • Follow Loyola's mask guidelines 
  •  Staying home and participating in virtual events is the most effective way to protect yourself and others. Between Loyola's virtual events and other events happening virtually in chicago and beyond, there is so much to choose from! If you do choose to celebrate in person, plan small gatherings with a small group of friends where everyone is wearing masks and practicing social distancing. Depending on the weather, consider planning an outdoor activity. 
  •  Avoid celebrating at indoor bars or restaurants this weekend, especially if alcohol is involved. Bars are often crowded and full of people you do not know, and you could be at risk of COVID-19 exposure. The City of Chicago has imposed a 1 am curfews on bars this St. Patrick's Day. See here for the current restrictions and reopening plan from City of Chicago.  
  •  Alcohol use can be particularly risky this St. Patrick's Day, as alcohol use can impair judgment and may make it hard for people to stay 6 feet apart. Behaviors like sharing drinks and smoking devices can increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission and are greatly discouraged this year. Consider having an alcohol and substance free St. Patrick's Day this year, there are many ways to celebrate (cue spring picnics and green cupcake baking) that do not involve alcohol! 
  • If you are planning to travel by the CTA or a rideshare this St. Patrick's Day, sanitize your hands often, only travel with people you are close with, and practice social distancing. Also, the CTA and lyft and uber all have mask mandates, please follow the rules to protect yourself and employees providing these services. 
  •  If you are spending time with a small group of close friends, make sure that everyone is on the same page about your planned activities and behaviors. Having a text conversation about ground rules beforehand can help everyone feel more comfortable and establish the expected safety behaviors the group should follow. 

Please ask for help if you are in a situation where you are worried about the health and safety of yourselves or others. If you are in a situation where you or a friend is experiencing negative effects of alcohol or drug use, please call for help. If you feel physically unsafe, please call 911 (off campus) or Campus Safety (on campus) for assistance. 

If you are on-campus, and there is a safety or alcohol emergency, please call Campus Safety at 773-508-6039 and alert your RA if you live in a residence hall. If you need gender based violence advocacy services, please call The Line at 773-494-3810.

We recognize that some students may still choose to go out to bars or gatherings in the city to celebrate. If you need assistance for yourself or a friend and you are off-campus, please call 911 or find the nearest police officer, and mention that you are a LUC student. Your health and safety is of the upmost importance to LUC. The City of Chicago imposed a 1 am curfew on bars and non-essential businesses. Students are encouraged to stay home this St. Patrick's Day, this is the safest way to protect yourself in others from COVID-19 as you do not have to take public transportation or interact with people you are not close with. 

 

A standard drink of wine, beer, or hard liquor all contain around the same amount of alcohol. A standard glass of wine is 5 oz and 12% alcohol, a standard beer is 12 oz and 5% alcohol, and a standard 1.5 oz shot is 80 proof, or 40% alcohol. Knowing what one drink is can be very helpful as it can help you not go over your chosen drink limit. (Source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism).

Measuring and making your own drinks can help ensure that they do not contain more alcohol then you want to consume. Also be aware in situations where there is a punch at a party, it is impossible to tell how much alcohol it contains.

Drinking alcohol does not necessarily increase the risk of COVID-19 exposure, but many of the behaviors and activities associated with alcohol use do increase the risk of exposure and transmission. When people gather in a party atmosphere with alcohol, it may be hard to practice social distancing and avoid being exposed to other guest's respiratory droplets, a main source of COVID-19 transmission. 

This St. Patrick's Day, be very cautious and avoid the following behaviors and situations:

  • Playing drinking games 
  • Sharing drinks 
  • Sharing joints, e-cigarettes, and other smoking devices
  •  Gatherings with people you do not know or do not know well
  • Gatherings where people are not following COVID-19 safety behaviors 
  • Gatherings where people are intoxicated and in close quarters 

Also, check out these great tips from Harvard University on things to consider when socializing during COVID-19: Partying and COVID.

The Good Sam medical amnesty policy was created to make it easier for students to secure help for their friends during an alcohol or drug medical emergency. If your friend needs help, please follow the three steps of Good Sam:

1. Call for help

2. Stay with your friend till help arrives

3. Follow up with the conduct office afterwards

If you follow those steps and act in good faith, you and your friend will not be found responsible by Loyola for underage drinking or drug use. However, you need to ask for help for this policy to apply, and it will not apply if the students involved are combative with emergency services or have violated a policy such as vandalizing property.

Please see the full text of the policy in Loyola's community standards here:

At Loyola University Chicago, student safety is paramount. In incidents of crisis or medical emergency, Loyola students are expected to care for themselves and for others in the Loyola community by getting help from appropriate officials even when violations of the Community Standards have occurred. Because the University understands that fear of disciplinary actions may deter requests for emergency assistance, the Good Samaritan and Medical Amnesty Protocol was created to reduce barriers to seek help. The Good Samaritan and Medical Amnesty Protocol may be enacted in crisis situations involving:

  • Alcohol use
  • Drug use
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Dating/domestic violence
  • Stalking

 

The University strongly considers the positive impact of taking responsible action when determining the appropriate response to any incident. When the University becomes aware of the above situations only because a fellow student or students took responsible action to secure medical or emergency assistance (subject to the conditions below), no formal University conduct record will be accrued by the reporting student(s) or the student in need of help.

Incidents covered by the Good Samaritan and Medical Amnesty Protocol will still be documented, and the completion of educational and/or health interventions, such as BASICS or other intervention will likely be required. Failure to complete the educational and/or health intervention may result in revocation of the amnesty.

No, students are strongly discouraged from hosting a house party or large indoor gathering this year. Hosting parties this year endangers your health and the health of your guests and their relatives. In gatherings of 25 people, there is a 30% chance someone has COVID-19, with that risk rising to 50% in groups of 50. If you do host a party, there could be disciplinary consequences from Loyola and possible legal consequences from the city. You are strongly discouraged from hosting a gathering, as COVID-19 is still very active in Illinois, and your actions could endanger others if someone at your gathering is positive for COVID-19. If you are asked by Campus Safety or Chicago police to end a party due to COVID-19 safety concerns, noise and other complaints, you must end the party immediately and ask guests to leave. If you live in an apartment complex, be respectful of neighbors and the rules fo the complex in terms of capacity and noise.

If you would like to celebrate in person with a small group of friends this St. Patrick's Day, keep it to 6 or less people and wear masks and practice social distancing the whole time you are together. Consider hosting a small movie night, a socially distanced picnic, or some other fall activity where you can have while still staying apart and staying safe. Being outdoors is preferable to hosting an indoor activity; if you have to be indoors, be aware of the space, wear masks, and do not invite more people than you can safely have in your space with 6 foot social distancing. If you are hosting any type of gathering at an off-campus residence, you cannot provide alcohol to people under the age of 21. 

 Also, please remember that Loyola is situated in a residential area with many families. Please be respectful of our campus and off-campus community, and follow the LUC community standards and city and state laws.

Remember Loyola's Good Neighbor policy below:

Loyola enjoys a positive, mutually supportive relationship with its neighboring local residential and business communities in Rogers Park, Edgewater, Maywood, Woodstock, and abroad. To sustain those relationships into the future, Loyola students must conduct themselves as mature and responsible neighbors when off-campus. Students are responsible for upholding all federal, state, and city laws and ordinances wherever they reside, travel, or socialize, especially those relating to noise, traffic, littering, parking, zoning, and alcohol and drug use.

No, even though cannabis is recreationally legal in Illinois, Loyola students of any age cannot use cannabis products on or off campus. Loyola Chicago has to follow federal law, and marijuana use is federally illegal. Using cannabis even off campus is a violation of the LUC Community Standards, especially if someone negatively impacts the Loyola community with their actions. Sharing joints and smokign products can also increase of risk of contracting COVID-19. 

 St. Patrick's Day is intended to be a fun holiday, but when alcohol is involved, that can sometimes lead to people becoming impaired and using hate speech or using words or actions that make other people feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Being intoxicated is never an excuse for harrassing others or using inappropriate language. Loyola does not tolerate any type of hate speech or harrassment. Please call Campus Safety if you are in any of these situations, or please follow up with the Center for Student Assistance and Advocacy if you would like to report a concern about another student's behavior.

Also, COVID-19 compliance is everyone’s responsibility. We want to remind you that if you see anything on or around Loyola’s campuses this week or anytime that you believe to be an infraction of our COVID-19 safety practices, please report it to 773-508-MASK (6275). Those who do not follow Loyola’s surveillance testing protocol and plan to access campus will lose building access privileges until they have received a negative result from one of Loyola’s tests. Repeated failure to comply will also be considered a violation of Loyola’s Community Standards and will result in a referral to one’s supervisor/chair (employee) or the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (student).

The primary purpose of Loyola's alcohol and other drug policies is to keep students safe, student safety and wellness is paramount.

Please review Loyola alcohol, marijuana, and other drug policies HERE.

Also, please remember that if a university official (Campus Safety or Residence Life), determines that a student may have overconsumed alcohol or other drugs and needs assistance, Chicago emergency services will be called. Students will be transported to the hospital to ensure that they are not suffering from alcohol poisoning. This is done to keep students safe and is in line with Chicago laws. However, a ambulance bill can carry a large fee, so please keep that in mind if you choose to drink. Please practice low risk drinking if you choose to drink.